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Human-animal marriage: Wikis


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Human-animal marriage, i.e., marriage between humans and non-human animals, is not recognized in law by any country at present, although historically people have married animals as part of religious traditions or to bring good luck, often involving elaborate ceremonies. Such marriages as are allowed by tradition, or within a culture, are often symbolic or ritual, rather than the more usual recognition of a relationship.


Historical cases



  • In some parts of Celtic Ireland, kings (often called "sacred kings") had to wed the local goddess of the land. A druidess was usually chosen to represent the land goddess as the king's wife, but one king in Donegal married a horse, a representative of their local goddess. [1]
  • May 1998 - The Jerry Springer Show had an episode titled "I Married a Horse!". The show was ultimately not aired by many stations on the planned date, apparently due to concerns about the acceptability of broadcasting an episode in which a man admitted to a long term emotional and sexual relationship of this kind. The man and his horse later participated in a British documentary on the subject.[1]
  • In 2010, a lady named Chen in Beijing became engaged to a Shetland pony she named Alan. She met the pony while studying in England and despite objections from local immigration authorities, the animal followed her home and eventually she chose to marry him. Although not a fully fledged horse, Chen is quoted as saying that, "It's the team that matters. Where would The Beatles be without Ringo? If John got Yoko to play drums the history of music would be completely different" and in response to a question about Alan's attitude prior to meeting her, "Chen quipped: why buy a book when you can join the library?".


  • December 2005 - forty-one-year-old Sharon Tendler of Great Britain unofficially married Cindy, a male dolphin held at the Dolphin Reef dolphinarium in Eilat, Israel, in a ceremony where she offered fish and the dolphin 'kissed' her. She had been visiting Cindy regularly for the past fifteen years. Tendler requested permission from the dolphin's trainer for the "wedding". The marriage, painted romantically by the media, was in her words considered "a bit of fun" after her friends joked about her being single at that age.


  • February 2006 - a Sudanese man, named Ahamed Budhallah, caught having sex with a neighbour's goat which was subsequently nicknamed Rose, was ordered by the council of elders to pay the neighbour a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($75) and marry the animal. [2]


  • June 2006 - an Indian woman from Bhubaneswar, Orissa, allegedly "fell in love with a snake" and was married to it at a "traditional Hindu wedding celebrated by 2,000 guests". She claimed that a bond of understanding existed between the two. The woman had previously been ill, and recovered upon offering milk to the snake, at which time she fell in love. She later "converted to the animal-loving vegetarian Vaishnav sect whose local elders gave her permission to marry the cobra." [2]. An investigation by Harper's magazine journalist Mischa Berlinski suggests that the snake may not even exist at all and that the incident may have been stage-managed as part of a local power struggle between Vaishnav religious leaders.[3]

Folklore, myth, and popular culture

  • A Korean folktale, sometimes known as The Silkworm, tells how silk originated following the King's daughter spiritually marrying a horse, in completion of a promise made in times of trouble. In the tale, the princess was reborn as a silkworm, a creature whose appearance and mannerisms superficially were said to resemble that of a horse. (From Chonsol Ttara Samch'olli, retold by Heinz Insu Fenkl) [3] [4]
  • Japanese folk tales tell of many who married a kitsune in human form.
  • A Cheyenne myth "The Girl Who Married a Dog", states that the group of seven stars known as the Pleiades originated from seven puppies which a Cheyenne chief's daughter gave birth to after mysteriously being visited by a dog in human form to whom she vowed "Wherever you go, I go". [4]
  • The Cree people of Waskaganish, Canada, tell the tale of "The Girl and the Dog", in which a girl living alone is visited by a talking dog who she jestingly agrees to marry. The dog hunted for her and she had a hybrid offspring. Finally the woman had human visitors, and resolved to marry one of them, and was killed by the dog in her sleep, out of jealousy. [5] (told by John Blackned)
  • One Inuit origin-myth states that the human races originated from the offspring of a girl who married a dog. [6]
  • White-Bear-King-Valemon or The Polar Bear King is a Norwegian folktale about a woman who marries a king cursed to take the form of a polar bear.
  • South Park parodied PETA with an episode on PETA members involving human - animal marriage due to the equivalence PETA members put on animals.
  • The Decemberists' album The Crane Wife re-tells the Japanese folk-tale of a man who marries a crane in human form.

See also


External links


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